Brookes, C G

King's Royal Rifle Corps
Bromley Kent
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  1. Janice Tibble

    C G Brookes was a member of Bromley Baptist Church – just round the corner from Bromley Sorting Office – and he is commemorated on the War Memorial Board in that church. I researched his story as part of a project linked to all the soldiers on this memorial.

    Charles George Brookes, son of Charles and Sarah, was born in Halstead, Essex, and he moved to Bromley after his marriage to Jane Game in 1909 in Essex. In 1911 they are living at 11 Mooreland Road, Bromley where he works as a postman at Bromley Post Office. Their first son, Charles Samuel, was born late1912/early 1913. George – as he seems to be known – was a reservist in the 2nd Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at the start of the war (Rifleman 2104). On 21st September 1914 he was driving a convoy of ammunition at the Battle of the Aisne. A shell fired by the enemy exploded near him and he was wounded in the thigh by shrapnel. George was brought back to Southampton and then taken to the Alexandra Hospital at Cosham where he died on 28th September. Monetary donations from local people raised the funds required to bring George’s body back to Bromley so he could be buried in his home town.
    On the day of his burial, George’s coffin was placed on an open funeral car and had a military escort from his home to Bromley Baptist Church. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, on which lay his cap and belt. The funeral service was led by the Revd W Kirk-Bryce. With the military escort were former comrades from the Post Office, headed by Major Compton, the Postmaster of Bromley. Revd Kirk-Bryce declared George to be ‘a Christian man, an honest workman, and a brave soldier’. After the funeral service, the procession re-formed and escorted the coffin to George’s last resting place in Plaistow Cemetery. The firing party formed a guard of honour at the cemetery gate, and later fired three volleys once the body had been committed. Corporal Mumford played the Last Post. George was 34 when he died, and Jane was carrying their second child. His Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone carries the inscription: UNDER HIS WINGS HE IS SAFELY ABIDING.
    George Jesse Brookes was born on 18th February 1915, and he is recorded in the 1939 register as living with Jane in Jackson Road, Bromley. Jane died in Bromley in 1955 aged 66.

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